There is a new club at Princeton Day School, ladies and gentlemen: Improv Club. Led by senior Sophie Freedman, this organization is a great opportunity for anyone interested in improvisational acting. Both experienced actors and curious beginners are encouraged to join.
For those unfamiliar with improv, it is a form of acting where thespians must think on their feet and come up with their lines and actions in the heat of the moment, as opposed to working from a script. There are different types of improv groups, such as comedy or musical theater. “I think [Improv Club] is really for anyone, even if you’ve never done improv or acting or anything similar to it in your life because it will really help you in lots of situations such as public speaking because in improv, learning quick response is really important,” explained Freedman.
Inspired by an improv class that she attended last fall with the Upright Citizens Brigade, Freedman wanted to be able to introduce PDS students to the world of improvisational acting. “It was a three hour long session eight times, and then at the end we gave a show at the actual Upright Citizens Brigade Stage. Since it was so long and so many hours, I learned a lot of different things, and I really started to like it. That’s when I figured I should bring back the skills to PDS and teach my friends and other people in the school all the different kinds of improv and how fun it could be,” she recalled. She also cited the improv group Baby Wants Candy as another source of inspiration. Baby Wants Candy is an improv musical theater group that has visited PDS in the past to perform for the school as well as host classes and workshops for any interested students. They are scheduled to make a return to PDS this year.
To start the year off, the club has featured a lot of acting games to help people get used to the basics of improv acting, while hoping to slowly transition into more advanced techniques. “Right now … we’re just getting used to being quick and doing short improv, then at the end of the year I want to have it to where we put on a show of short improv with improv monologues also,” said Freedman. If all goes as planned, Improv Club should be making an exciting appearance at this spring’s Performing Arts Showcase, where members will have the opportunity to showcase their new skills in front of the entire PDS community.